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The joke that is Wikipedia
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2009 04:48 Written by stelpavlou Sunday, 11 January 2009 10:15
I’m banned from Wikipedia.
My crime? Correcting errors, about myself… Because I naively thought that it being my life, I was best placed to answer questions on it.
The vandalism of pages had become annoying, so I thought, I’d take a few minutes Sunday to correct a few things. Turns out the vandalism was done by the cretins who now run the place and unless I could find somebody who has never met me, but has written about me, as an online source that can be linked to, then anything I say is original research and not allowed. But even then, it’s probably not valid because I have a conflict of interest. It being about me or my work.
So hence forth, Wiki has deemed that Decipher may not be referred to as a “bestseller” because the slow witted moon faced kid editing the page had never heard of it. Just because bestseller appears on the cover (and publishers can’t put that there, as far as I know, unless it’s er, well, a bestseller) and I’ve had some pretty hefty royalty checks over the years which I had assumed backed up such a claim, that doesn’t enter into it! The fact that he can’t find a bestseller chart list with my name on it, means it isn’t true. And he’s not going to pay for a subscription to a professional book charting company to find the figures. That’s just unreasonable.
But the books he has heard of? It’s okay to call those bestsellers, because, well, he’s heard of them.
So I lost my temper and they banned me.
I’ve had problems with vandalism before. Years ago I arranged with some nice chap (when Wikipedia was young) that I’d be in charge of my pages to stop that nonsense. Well now the vandals are in charge and the agreement has been “forgotten.”
The policy is, If a webpage source can be cited, then it’s fact. If it can’t then it’s rejected. Which means fact to Wikipedia now depends entirely on a “Google Search Metric for Truth.” If there’s a webpage on it, it must be real. Henceforth, the Yeti is real and Evolution is not.
I just wish I’d found Lore Sjöberg piece from Wired a lot sooner:
But why should I contribute to an article? I’m no expert.
That’s fine. The Wikipedia philosophy can be summed up thusly: “Experts are scum.” For some reason people who spend 40 years learning everything they can about, say, the Peloponnesian War — and indeed, advancing the body of human knowledge — get all pissy when their contributions are edited away by Randy in Boise who heard somewhere that sword-wielding skeletons were involved. And they get downright irate when asked politely to engage in discourse with Randy until the sword-skeleton theory can be incorporated into the article without passing judgment.
But I disagree. I wish it were that benign. Wikipedia’s problem really isn’t about political correctness trumping expertise. It’s about power trips by an ignorant horde. Some of whom have historically faked their credentials, by the way. Remember Ryan Jordan with the fake PhD? He’s not the only one. I have no proof, but I read it on a website somewhere that Wikipedia is run by thousands of these people in Nigeria, when they’re not sending out 419 scams. I used the “Google Search Metric for Truth” so I know it’s a fact.
So it’s going to be interesting seeing how my entry evolves over the coming years. Just remember, anything that remotely resembles fact will be purely coincidental.